Molly Tuttle Trivia Question

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The EIGHT winners are:
Tom Behan
Thomas Doran
Andy Elliot
Mike Foley
Mark Hudson
Bob O’Connor
Dick Stock
Roy Streever

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JANUARY 13, 2023 TRIVIA QUESTION

Molly Tuttle, a young guitar player and singer from northern California, has seemingly burst upon the bluegrass scene more or less during the Covid epidemic. However I’m sure that’s not how she wants to be remembered! She is certainly EXTREMELY popular.

Molly and her band Golden Highway recently performed on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! late night tv program. By all accounts they did a triumphant job.

Today’s trivia asks you to consider what Molly Tuttle is “remarkable” for.

A. She developed a “clawhammer” (banjo style) guitar lick for solos

B. Molly attended the Berklee School of Musicin Boston studying guitar and songwriting

C. Having endured alopecia (lack of hair) through her life, she usually performs wearing a wig, but if the show is going well and she’s feeling good, in mid-show she’ll pull off her wig and put it on a microphone stand!

D. Her latest album “Crooked Tree” is nominated for a bluegrass Grammy.

E. Molly won the 2022 IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year award.

F. All of the above

ANSWER is “F”

Additional Bowden Comments

GREAT JOB everyone! The biggest turnout of replies, and all correct! Looks like we’ve hit a nerve here.

Molly is a fast rising star in bluegrass. I’m proud to say I know her fiddler, Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, lately of Boston-based Mile 12. Bronwyn has really had to step up her game in both fiddling, and stage “presence”, working with Molly’s energetic show — and Bron is doing a terrific job.

Every potential answer for this trivia question is correct. Molly did indeed, early on, develop a distinctive clawhammer banjo lick (instead of a flat pick, using her thumb to “drone” a bass string and the backs of her fingernails to strum the thinner strings) on some of her guitar breaks. Very inventive!

She came all the way from her native California to attend Berklee in Boston, like many, many other young people now entering bluegrass.

Molly has lived with alopecia from a very young age, and she wears an assortment of nondescript wigs (no Dolly Parton here…). She doesn’t mind telling a good audience about it, and throwing off her wig while on-stage. Of course, the audience eats it up.

Her newest album “Crooked Tree” is Grammy nominated for the bluegrass recording of the year. It was recorded with mostly studio musicians. She put together her band Golden Highway to tour in support of the album. Very modern and business-like!

She was also awarded Female Vocalist for 2022 by IBMA last fall in Raleigh NC. Her singing is gaining in “timbre” every month, it seems. Early on she often sang with a too-rapid vibrato that made her sound “scared”. But on some of her current live show videos you can find on-line, she’s doing more belting, with confidence and self-satisfaction. This is no slam, it’s a common issue with “new” singers. Dudley Connell of the Johnson Mt Boys got rid of his rapid vibrato as the years went by. Another place to hear Molly sing is on Peter Rowan’s latest project where they duet on “Calling You From My Mountain”. She also has recorded with Billy Strings the wunderkind. I’m confident we can expect more duets with established stars — I look for her to cut an old Monroe number with Del McCoury!

Thanks again to everyone who replied.

Dick Bowden

Dick Bowden recently retired after a 45 year career in the paper industry, and moved from Connecticut to Big Indian NY (Ulster County) where he ekes out a precarious existence as a groundskeeper. Dick has been performing bluegrass music on banjo and guitar since 1966 in his home state of Maine, throughout New England, and internationally with The Case Brothers - Martin & Gibson. He has performed for HVBA with the Old Time Bluegrass Singers, and also sent in a squadron of Dick Bowden's Flying Circus. Most recently Dick has played Dobro (tm) with the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. Dick has written many articles for Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Today, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass magazine) and HVBA.

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